Friday Letter, 11-20-15

Hello All.  This is my annual Thanksgiving (Friday) Letter where I reflect on the year and the things for which I am thankful.  While it may be presumptuous to share my own list, I do so because it often involves you and the campus.  This year is no exception.  It is also a time, probably more so than any other holiday for me, where I reflect on the year and its meaning.  While the Friday Letter can often lead to a broad range of discussions, I hope this one inspires you to share your thanks with colleagues, families, and friends.

Outside of Cascadia, I am thankful…

  • That we live in a relatively secure place. World conflicts lead people to express their views via violence. I am thankful that violence is not as prevalent here as it is in other parts of the world.
  • For my health. I am especially thankful that my fall through the ceiling of my house last week did not result in anything more than hurt pride. (Yes, there is a story here…for another place and time if you haven’t heard it yet.)

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  • For the skills I have developed…and that most of those I learned from my parents. Dry-walling skills helped me overcome the hurt pride from the previous bullet.

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  • That I have a job, family, home, and food on my table.

From the perspective of Cascadia, I am thankful…

  • That our enrollment has been good, leading us to financial stability this year.
  • That we have new (super safe) vans.

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  • That we make a difference in the lives of our students. Some people may be at Cascadia simply because it is a job. For me, I chose my profession because it helps others. I am thankful that my efforts help students.
  • For Cascadia’s values. I appreciate all 10 of our values. I appreciate that the DIA and Cavoline process is not easy and may be confusing. Thank you for sticking with it. We are continuing to listen to your feedback and will report back soon about how this has influenced the second round of Cavolines and our Winter Quarter program.
  • That our employees are passionate. I encourage you to sit with me and share your passions, thoughts, concerns, and joys. Have no fear of conversation with me…I am thankful that we can come to a conversation with open ears in order to learn more about the viewpoints and opinions of others.
  • For shared governance. Assemblies, committees, unions, and continual interest-based conversations allow us to collectively direct Cascadia. If you do not believe that shared governance is in effect here, talk with me. I would be thankful to hear your perspective and share my own.
  • (I am not so much thankful for wind storms and the tragedies they bring, but…) I am thankful that we can roll with the force of nature and the hurdles it sets in front of us. I especially appreciated advisers who continued with e-advising via their phones and flashlights. I’m glad those emergency flashlights were useful for something!

These are just a few things on my table this season. I know each of yours is equally full. We will have our Holiday Hoopla on December 14 and I look forward to the progressive conversations, eating, and community we’ll share.

Enjoy your holiday next week.

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